Love & friends & verklempt (something in prose).

I don’t think I’m a poet of the atrocities, or even of the victories. I think I’m a poet of the people I love. I’m trying to make sense of how much there is to love in the world. I’m trying to put into words the moment when someone reaches out to touch someone else’s face, but then doesn’t, and then that person never knows that that other person wanted to touch them. And so that touch will never be in the history books. But I might just get it into a poem.

 

Do you have any famous friends? Friends who people know because of something they did or wrote? I have a couple of great friends in a band and it makes me insanely proud and insanely baffled to know them and to see them progressing in the music world and to know that they are an entity outside of the dudes that I got to know in college. And to think that I knew them in a dorm hallway, with their morning hair and their late night gaits. How I’d leave the coed bathroom when I’d see one of them with their sneakers facing outward in a stall (pooping!). 

 

I have a lot of friends who really impress me. Not just because of their jobs, but sometimes because of their jobs. I have some friends who were born knowing how to be great friends. A lot of my friends aren’t the same as each other. A couple of my friends are attempting similar back-to-the-land plans as I am, but most of them aren’t. I’m here as a human and as a girl and as a poet and as a farmer-in-training to say: my friends, I love the shit out of you. I know you know it already, maybe because I told you recently in an email or textual exclamation or maybe I sent you something recently or maybe you read a poem here that reminded you of it. Either way, I might as well say it often, because life is short and fast (especially in summer).

 

So here’s a music video that really impresses me featuring some dudes I know. For some reason this video is making me want to hug people (BAD), probably because I’ve been drinking wine and I live with a man I adore and because it’s summer and there’s quite nearly enough sunlight to provide for all the words I want to write and say each day. Amen.

 

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Poem of today (poem with friends in it) (mine).

Double Double

 

Today a couple of honeymooners came over

to sit on the porch for hours and eat

lunch and coffee cake. The clouds cleared

 

for them and the frogs burped their hellos

and later poems will be written

with scythes in them and we will all approve

 

or not. After they left I stirred honey

into my tea (like always) and hoped

the clouds would clear again for them later

 

so that the moon could shine on their sweet

little cabin as they read their magazines

and sipped their tea. My honey and I

 

sat on the porch after they drove away,

in different chairs, reading our books

as storms rolled over, the scythed-down

 

grass flattening against the rest, birds flitting

back to nests. To be honest I can’t tell

a bird’s nest from a bat box but I am

 

gosh-darned over-the-moon about

homes in general, about porches and the moon

and frogs that celebrate a thunderstorm.

 

Oh, the sideyard of San Diego!

Something that I miss about San Diego is the sideyard, that yard we had on the side of our house, where friends used to gather. So many great things happened there: poems under the streetlights, loud live music, deluxe beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), yoga mat washing by way of rare rain, hot pepper roasting (& peeling), yoga class by Britta, yard sales, the explorations of a young chicken named V’Nilla… That being said, we also experienced chair thievery with frequency. And people used to walk their dogs onto the lawn and let them shit and just leave it. Hummingbirds buzzed through there and friends visiting from the east came and sat in the sideyard with their faces facing the sun and said, “Aaaah.” People purchased Misha’s photos there and we parked our bikes there and we grilled fish out there and we sat with tea out there under the purple umbrella that Misha bought because he knows how much I love purple. We grew good mint out there and a kale plant that looked like a palm tree and a bush of African blue basil that the bees adored. And before we left, we invited everyone over to buy and take our stuff, and we made fancy popcorns, and we played bocci, and drank beer and lemonade from a cooler. It was our living room, carpeted with the spikiest grass I’d ever known, and Misha would turn off the sprinklers and then every week dudes would come and mow the grass and turn the sprinklers back on. And now that we’re not living there anymore I hope heartily that whoever is living there is loving that little square of green as much as we did, is using it as hard as we used it, and is calling it a sideyard.

 

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(The sideyard was also where I discovered I could wear bocce balls as earrings, no big deal, just wearing these bocce balls as earrings next to my boyfriend. I’m assuming we lost that game of bocce based on the look on Misha’s face.) (Photo by Marilyn, a true friend who I met–you guessed it!–in the sideyard.)

Why not: a birthday collage.

Dear Scott,

I made you this internet collage comprised of (beautiful) images that remind me of you. I really hope you like it.

Love,

Taylor

 

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coffee and whiskey

 

 

 

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Happiest of days to you, friend. I hope your weekend is full of even better things than Ellie giving the sneaky middle finger to you in a photo, though it’s hard to imagine what’s better than that.

 

A literary recap and also some beautiful things.

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I went to AWP last week, for what felt like a week. For you nonwriters, AWP is the biggest literary conference of the year. Workshops, lectures, readings, a bookfair big enough to kill any sane person’s love of books, famous writers all around, lots of glasses, lots of beards, lots of notebook scribbling, lots of beers. I schlepped apricots, trail mix, water, my phone, notebooks, and about ten pounds of books around the city of Boston for three days straight. Other things that occurred: lattes, reunions, inspiration, Anne Carson, free chocolate, free pens, free buttons, literary journals, poet swoons (see: Anne Carson), and I met my pen pal for the first time, with whom I have been corresponding for a year. Magic! Below are some tidbits from the weekend too good (read: weird &/or awesome) not to share.

 

“I believe that the future of poetry belongs to dead poets.” -Valzhyna Mort (poet)

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“I prefer myself to Charles Simic.” -James Meetze (poet)

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“You’re some kind of something and I like it.” -Dara Wier (poet)

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“They will try to make you choose between the things you love but you do not have to choose.” Muriel Rukeyser, as quoted by another passionate woman

THEY WILL TRY TO MAKE YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN THE THINGS YOU LOVE BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE. 

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“For nonconformity, the world whips you with displeasure.” -Emerson, as quoted by a college professor dude

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“I am just another person in all normal regards except for my love of lemurs.” -James Tate (poet), as quoted by another poet

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“Lanyards are a great way to humble people.” -Jacob Otting (poet & comedian)

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“This wig is terrific.” -Terrance Hayes, reading one of his poems (SWOON)

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And here are some patterns I am loving this week, by Phoebe Wahl.

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And that is all for now. Besides for the joy of another friend engaged, the speed of a new (old) car, the sound of the rain (rain! not snow! woah!), the crunch of breadcrust littered with seeds, and the feel of a hot mug in my hands.

 

Calling All Typesetters in the Universe! Hear ye, hear ye!

This is a call, a calling-out, an offer, a request, a hopeful question posed to the wind (to the internet):

* Do you know how to use a letterpress with agility?

* Do you live in the Northeast?

* Are you interested in the woods? Do you like cabins?

* Are you willing to work for free?

The last question is the ugliest, this I know. This is really a call for a friend with letterpress skills. Are you interested in being my friend? I have a frequently-updated blog and a really cool boyfriend! I have a lot of eggs to give away! I enjoy dancing even outside of dancehalls! I am short but can jump high! I don’t care if you have a weird haircut, in fact I like it! Do you want to embark on a literary project together?

Here’s the deal: I had a letterpress dude, Sean, who was going to be Head Typesetter but now he has to move back to Arizona. Sean’s a poet, we took a book arts class together in grad school, he excelled at it (big time), whereas I just hammered along, finishing with some pretty but unskilled books. I don’t have the real letterpress abilities that would allow me make books I’m proud to sell. That’s where YOU come in.

This is a project in its early stages. The state of Vermont has given me their seal of approval: the company is Press House Press. The vision for the press goes something like this:

Envision a small cabin where, in previous times, a family may have pressed their apple cider during autumn. Envision inside it: good lighting, a cider press, a letterpress. Perhaps a chair or two, or a small bed. No big equipment. Just enough to make some cider to quench our thirst (and the thirst of visitors) and a small letterpress to make pamphlets, chapbooks, cards, mini-broadsides.

Please note: the press house does not yet exist. The letterpress has not yet been purchased. This is a project on the road to actuality. If you help me build it, it will come.

If this wild, insanely human, deliciously rural and thoroughly unpaid position interests you, we should meet up at AWP and talk. If you’re not going to AWP, we can meet up on the internet. Either way, you should email me. I can tell you a little more about myself and a lot more about how this press is going to happen. Maybe you’re just the person to collaborate with me. Maybe we’re going to make some gorgeous and inspired little papergoods together. Goodness, I hope so.

With hope and a prayer,

Taylor Mardis Katz